President and Congress, an Oscillating Relation
In the United States, as well as in the rest of the world, the president is one of the most powerful positions. The president can sign for a foreign military-intervention and make a treaty with other countries in order to negotiate trade or diplomacy. As Commander in Chief, Chief Executive, and Head of State, the president is the dominant force in foreign policy making. However, I believe Congress should have an important role in the area of foreign policy to ensure that correct decisions are made regarding foreign policy. Congress asserts its role in the foreign policy by balancing the president’s power, supporting the president when he/she lacks foreign policy experience, and maintaining democracy in the United States.
First, Congress helps to balance the power of the president through having the power to declare war and arrange war budgets. As Commander in Chief of the United States’ military, the president can command the Army and Navy, but the power to declare war belongs to Congress. In early 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson sent U.S. troops to Vietnam in the belief that America would get a victory in a matter of months. But after three years, with more than 700,000 U.S. troops, enormously sophisticated equipment, and South Vietnam as allies, America was not able to get a significant victory. President Johnson and his colleagues did not know when the war would end. “Even the Joint Chiefs of the staff were not sure how many years and troops it might take to win” (Welch et al. 596). In May 1968, President Richard Nixon authorized the massive bombings of Hanoi, the capital of North Vietnam, in the effort to end the Vietnam War. The bombing lengthened to over six years and event...
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... Congress allowed President Carter to terminate the 1903 treaty with Panama to make way for the new one (Welch et al. 335). Recently, President Obama canceled plans to visit Asia and attended two summits because Congress didn 't pass the government 's budget. It caused the United States government to shut down. Congress played a more significant role in the overall foreign policy-making.
In conclusion, I believe Congress continues to assert its role in the foreign policy-making because Congress not only balances and supports the president, but it also helps to maintain democracy in the United States. Congress and the president have a strong relationship and should cooperate with one another. With two dominant forces in the foreign policy making, we can reasonably believe the United States will continued to spread democracy and American values all over the world.
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